Aruba Networks Enables Wireless Internet Access at the Iconic “Makkah Clock Royal Tower” in Suadi Arabia


In its bid to efficiently meet huge connectivity demands during Hajj, the Fairmont Group of Hotels & Resorts has deployed Aruba Networks’ wireless infrastructure at its iconic Makkah Clock Royal Tower hotel in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Driven by the Aruba Wi-Fi solution, guests and staff at the hotel will be able to enjoy secure, seamless, high-speed, wireless internet access across all seventy-six floors of the hotel.

Explaining the need for a state-of-the-art wireless infrastructure, Mohamed Mahmoud, IT Director at Makkah Clock Royal Tower said, “As one of the premier properties in the Holy City, our hotel regularly hosts thousands of guests and between these hotel guests and staff, at any time we may have up to 25,000 connections to the wireless network via laptops, iPads and smart devices. Furthermore, during peak seasons, particularly Hajj, the number of connections can spike by up to 99%. We needed an infrastructure that could handle the increasing volume of devices while delivering the consistent speed and performance that our customers and our staff expect.”


“Makkah Clock Royal Tower”

Given that this was a first-time installation, Ahmed Shakeel, Fairmont Systems Engineer had the luxury of being able to vet a number of leading wireless network vendors but quickly settled on Aruba Networks given their proven track record at other brand name hotels across the region and performance during testing.

Working closely with DSP, Aruba Networks’ partner in the region, the IT team at Makkah Clock Royal Tower completed the installation of Aruba’s series 6000 Mobility Controller and one thousand one hundred and seventy-five of Aruba’s AP-105 Access Points over a three month period.

“One of the key features of the Aruba solution is the superior radio performance which allows for saturated coverage at much higher data rates. This reduction in the number of ‘dark spots’, allowed us to deploy the minimum number of Access Points which in turn reduced total project cost and installation time, without compromising network capabilities – a win for both the hotel and guests,” said Mohamed Raafat, Technical Services Manager at DSP.

Thirty six months into the installation, Ahmed Shakeel couldn’t be happier with the decision to go with the Aruba solution. Guests and staff are able to connect multiple devices, enjoy seamless connectivity anywhere in the hotel and utilize bandwidth hungry applications, making for an overall pleasant user experience. With the hotel-wide wireless infrastructure in place, the hotel management team also saw an opportunity to improve internal communication. They have issued mobile communication devices that allow the staff to communicate instantly with each other as and when is necessary.

This has greatly improved staff productivity and response time to guest issues. The benefits extend to the IT department as well – the Aruba series 6000 Mobility Controller allows the IT department to make rapid changes to the network and security settings from the controller’s centralized intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI).

Furthermore, Aruba’s AirWave software allows the IT department to monitor, in real-time, each and every device connected to the network, spot trends and proactively troubleshoot any problems in the network prior to them affecting users.

“By delivering a robust, secure, high-bandwidth and easily managed wireless network, I believe we have provided a best-in-class wireless solution that matches the best-in-class accommodation and amenities offered by the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, further validating our position as the leading wireless network solution provider for the hospitality sector in the GCC region.” concluded Abdel Qayoum Shaker, Territory Manager at Aruba Networks.